Midstate firearms and ammunition stores are selling out fast and, unlike grocery stores, are unable to order more product. Monday was the last day of business for Patriot Gun and Pawn in Carthage- at least for now.
Bur it’s not due to a lack of customers- actually, it the opposite problem. Owner Brian Ferguson is turning them away.
“Unfortunately right now we’re in a position where we’re having to tell most of them we have nothing to sell you,” Ferguson said.
Normally Patriot Guns has about 100 firearms in stock- now it’s only 10.
“I think it has to do with fear of the unknown,” explains Ferguson. “For most people, they don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 30, 60, or 90 days. They have no idea what’s coming.”
This isn’t the first time a national crisis has sparked a shortage.
"It’s not surprising. We’ve seen that in the past for situations like September 11th or Katrina,” says Lawrence Keane, of the Firearms and Ammunition Industry Trade Association.
Normally a lack of product would be easy to fix. Gun retailers could contact their distributors and get more in two days. That’s not the case anymore.
“Right now all that’s depleted nationally, so the stuff we’re out of we can’t order anymore,” says Ferguson. “I can’t get more ammo, I can’t get more firearms. It’s just nonexistent at the moment.”
When the shelves will be replenished is uncertain. U.S. military supplies come from the same manufacturers as wholesalers, so federal agencies will get their orders filled first.
“It just kind of puts a pause on everything until the industry normalizes again,” adds Ferguson.